What are you meditating on?

Embed from Getty Images

Worry is just a meditation on shit.”

Thanks for Sharing

Just a quick thought here. The husband and I went to the store to rent a video this weekend. I felt like choosing a movie just by its cover. This cover had Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo on it. They were smiling while looking at eachother, which in my mind is a symbol for romantic comedy. The rational husband said I should research the movie first, but I felt like being a little spontaneous.

Long story short- it is not a nice little chick flick that one can easily watch while drinking a glass of moscato and spooning a tub of Breyers ice cream their significant other.

Nope. This was a drama about sex addiction, with tiny bits of comedy sprinkled throughout.

Despite some of the slightly uncomfortable moments, it was a decent film. Though, I highly doubt I’ll be itching to watch it again.

Sometimes when I’m a little dissappointed, I search for the hidden gems. To me, this quote was a hidden gem.

I’ve worried my entire life, and as we all know, worrying is a complete waste of time. When I catch myself worrying, I try to tell myself the whole song and dance about me losing the gift of the present by focusing on something that may or may not happen. No dosage of meds has magically wiped away my ability to worry about whether or not I’ll make it to work on time, how healthy my parents are, or if I’m going to live long enough to have children.

So maybe, I need to be a little more direct in reminding myself about the uselessness of worrying.

I’m going to take this little mantra for a test drive. This one might be a little harsh or blunt, but I think it might be what I need, and I wanted to share it in case you might need it too!

And a happy Monday to you,



Are YOU up for a challenge?


This morning, I got up extra early to squeeze in a run before work. I was lucky enough to have fifteen extra minutes after my run, so I sat on the front porch and did something I haven’t in a long time. I admired the beauty of the freshly planted lilies around me and enjoyed the melody of my neighborhood. At 5:15 am, the only melody was that of chirping birds.

Meanwhile, I started thinking of how ridiculously self-conscious I am. I have literally never met (or heard of) anyone who lives so carefully as I do. Someone who tries not to fit in, but to be completely invisible. I didn’t inherit this trait (if that’s what it is), and I certainly didn’t catch it from my friends or even my husband. However, I have a strong conviction that it stems largely from being bullied in junior high, as I remember being a much more fearless Adelie before that.

Isn’t that stupid, though? That the words and actions of my classmates, from over ten years ago, still dictate how I live and how I express myself?

Aside from my writing here and my relationship with my husband, I live my life as an enormous apology. I tread softly as to not hurt others or make them upset. Also, by keeping to myself, I’m safe from ridicule for how absurd my dreams are. Living a safe life may not be fun or gratifying, but at least I’m the one inflicting pain on myself.

Yes, even I realize how faulty that logic is.

So, I told myself that today was going to be different. In case you’re a new follower or you haven’t noticed, I switched my blog’s tagline about a week ago. I did so in the hopes to inspire myself and to hopefully inspire you as well. Recently, I’ve made a habit of asking myself every morning, “How am I going to make today a masterpiece?”Today, I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m not going to walk around with my eyes down and silently mutter “sorry” to every car that tailgates me in my Prius. I’m not going to apologize, either with words or actions, if I haven’t truly done anything wrong.

So how did I do with this challenge?

Well, this morning, my close friend, and coworker, asked what I’ve been up to. I told her about my writing.

I never tell people about my writing.

Surprisingly, she told me how much she admired that I could write, as she couldn’t imagine having the drive to write more than a short email, let alone a book. So, by opening up this (very significant) part of myself, I deepened a friendship and received some helpful feedback.

Thus, my challenge to you, my dear friend, is to do something today, no matter how big or small, to express an essential part of yourself that you often keep hidden. I would especially love hearing about your experiences, if you feel comfortable doing so. No worries if you don’t come across this post five days or five years after I’ve written it. It’s never too late to challenge yourself!

If you happen to be one of the people who leave no aspect of yourself unseen, then I truly admire your courage, and I hope you might share your wisdom!

*It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge.

To living fearlessly and passionately,



How to be Happy


This week’s writing challenge is to share something you’ve learned with your readers. I’ve noticed that if I’m present enough in each moment, I’m always learning. Unfortunately, my self-awareness isn’t a regular ritual of mine. More so, it comes and goes in binges. I strongly believe, and know, that my life would be better if I could be more present in every breath I take. I’ve found the best way to return to that essential place of knowing is to slow my breathing and to listen to my heart. I know, it’s so cliché, but there’s a reason why that line is used as advice in virtually every circumstance. At risk of sounding even more cliché, I’m going to say that my heart has proven time and time again to be my greatest teacher. So, I want to share the lesson it taught me a few days back.

***A note to readers: In case you aren’t one of my earlier followers, you might not know I have bipolar disorder. Not that it should matter, but I’ve decided to discuss this aspect of myself in this post. I sincerely believe this piece is relevant to everyone, even those without bipolar disorder. However, if you’re not interested in reading about the bipolar aspects, feel free to skip the italicized segments.

I’m assuming I’m not the only person who lives in cycles. I mean, with the changing seasons and tides, it’s only natural, right?

Well, being bipolar has a whole other world of cycles, which can be much less predictable than when the leaves are going to fall. Typically, I’m depressed and dormant from roughly November to March. But once spring comes, something hits me, and I’m inspired, ecstatic, and confident- in a healthy, non-manic way.

When you’re bipolar, there’s a blurry line between being genuinely happy and falling into the rip-roaring tides of mania. Ever since I’ve had some very destructive episodes, I’m always on red-alert for signs of mania. Thus, I’m apprehensive whenever I feel happy. In fact, I’m almost terrified to be happy because it’s nearly impossible to distinguish it from the earliest symptoms of mania. By the way, mania is awesome. You feel invincible and everything in life is absolutely perfect, including yourself! Not to mention, your productivity skyrockets. It’s so awesome that you don’t realize how poorly skewed your perception of reality is. No matter what your friends and family tell you, you’re fine. The problem is with everyone else, those pessimistic party poopers you call your loved ones. In fact, you don’t need them. You’d be better without them, and you’ll find someone who will treat you better. After all, you’re such a stellar person, everyone loves you, so basically, the ball is in your court. Oh, and if you finally come to the realization that you’re manic, it’s not just something you can pull out of, and it’s usually too late.

Anyway, it seems that nearly every spring, I come to some *non-bipolar* epiphany that empowers me to believe in myself and gives me the fuel to work toward my goals. Kind of like a pep-talk from my soul that lasts for a few months.

So, the snow finally disappeared a couple of weeks ago, and every day I’d look at the sunrise and think, Ok, epiphany…I’m ready for you….anytime now!

Heck, I even subscribed to O Magazine this year to really boost my aha-moment potential!

However, I got nothing. No inspiration, no sudden recognition of my soul’s infinite power… Nope.

So last Sunday, I sat down to meditate, and I asked my soul something like, “When the hell are you going to enlighten me?!” I sat in silence for a while, when it finally came to me: I’ve been waiting and expecting happiness to just come to me… but that’s not how it works.

Things happen.

Life happens.

Sometimes it’s easy to be happy. Sometimes it’s impossible not to be happy. But sometimes, you have to choose to be happy.

So instead of moping around and waiting for an epiphany to turn my attitude into flowers, hearts, and unicorns, I have to make my own happiness. After all, our souls have the infinite power to do anything, and that includes choosing happiness.

Happiness isn’t something to find. It’s something to be.

Oh, and by the way, my soul reminded me that happiness ≠ mania. I need to be happy, and I can allow myself to be happy while being aware of any triggers or onsets of mania. It’s possible to be happy without tailspinning into reckless behavior.

So today, I’m going to be happy. I do hope you’ll join me. If you need some extra inspiration besides that which your heart may provide, take a look at some more quotes about happiness!

With happiness and gratitude,




Finding Your Flow

It’s day two of “Finding Your Flow”- an awesome meditation series, hosted by Oprah Deepak Chopra! It’s still not too late to join in on this wonderfully transformative (and free) experience!

Artfully Aspiring

My goodness, it’s been one heck of a week for me, so I’m behind in many posts I’ve planned. Regardless, I received an email this morning, and I just had to share the wonderful news with you.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are presenting another free meditation event called, “Finding Your Flow.”

You might ask why I’m so excited about this. One year ago, I stumbled upon their first free meditation event called “Perfect Health.” It was honestly, life changing… Like three weeks of daily epiphanies!

And it’s free! I LOVE free!!!

Since then, they presented two more meditation programs: “Miraculous Relationships” and “Desire and Destiny.” So the deal is, it’s a three week event, in which they send you an inspirational article and a guided meditation every day. Each day has a new concept or theme. In addition, they have a journal with meditative prompts that help you connect even…

View original post 215 more words

Finding Your Flow




My goodness, it’s been one heck of a week for me, so I’m behind in many posts I’ve planned. Regardless, I received an email this morning, and I just had to share the wonderful news with you.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are presenting another free meditation event called, “Finding Your Flow.”

You might ask why I’m so excited about this. One year ago, I stumbled upon their first free meditation event called “Perfect Health.” It was honestly, life changing… Like three weeks of daily epiphanies!

And it’s free! I LOVE free!!!

Since then, they presented two more meditation programs: “Miraculous Relationships” and “Desire and Destiny.” So the deal is, it’s a three week event, in which they send you an inspirational article and a guided meditation every day. Each day has a new concept or theme. In addition, they have a journal with meditative prompts that help you connect even deeper to the theme and purpose.

In case you’re skeptical, I want to assure you it is 100% free, no obligation to purchase anything. They don’t share your information with anyone either. Their meditations are for sale either CD or digital copy, but like I said, there’s no obligation. I honestly would purchase the meditations, but they’re not quite in my budget right now!

And no, I’m not getting any special perks or benefits for suggesting this. Though, maybe if enough of you convinced Oprah, we could work something out! 😛

I’m just so passionate about this because I’ve experienced, first hand, the profound benefits that come with meditation. Though when I meditate on my own, I have trouble focusing and finding meaning sometimes. I wholeheartedly believe everyone can benefit from this, both experienced meditators and newbies. Even if you don’t view yourself as a meditation-type person, just listening to the calming music and affirmations is a surefire stress reliever.

Ahhhh, I’m just so excited about this. It’s my belief that the more people are connected with and living from their true spirit, the better we can transform our world into a more peaceful and loving place.

I never urge people to do anything, but I’m strongly suggesting you to just try it!



Scarcity of Silence


              It seems to me that it isn’t until I seek silence that I find the most noise. Though I’ve never been one to fit in, I have a strong suspicion that others share similarly loud and buzzing lives. After all, the majority of us wake up to noise, whether it be the radio, screaming kids, deafening beeps, clumsy neighbors, anxious pets, or (in my case) a quick little ditty from my cell phone. As I’m currently typing this, our kindhearted maintenance man is incessantly pounding the floor in front of my desk with a hammer. Suffice it to say, I’ve given up on finding silence for a while

            Please excuse me if I jump around a little here. As you can imagine, it’s a little challenging to stay focused. Let me get back on track!

            Have you ever had one of those drives home where you crank up the radio, hook up your MP3 player, or pop in a CD, and next thing you know, you’re pulling into the driveway? We’ve become so used to outside noise that it nearly puts us in a trance. Honestly, it’s pretty scary to think about. Everyone’s heard about the dangers of driving under the influence, driving while sleep deprived,  and texting while driving. Though, how often do you think accidents are caused by people simply not being present? It’s no secret that this has been a ruthless winter, even for Michigan. Let me tell you, if I wouldn’t have been completely aware while commuting between work and home, I wouldn’t have been able to avoid the four potential accidents that threatened me. And this is just in the past week, no joke.

            Another tangent again, my apologies.

            Where I’m going with this is that we’re so used to continuous sounds around us that when we actually seek silence, it can feel uncomfortable and almost frightening. I used to habitually turn on Netflix the second I walked in the door. From that point until bedtime, you could hear reruns of The Office in nearly every corner of my house (as you can infer, I don’t live in a sprawling mansion…yet 🙂 ). Even if I were in a different room doing laundry, cooking, or doing some other wildly exciting activity, I always had the TV on.  So, when the evening came that I decided not to have the TV on unless I intended on actually watching it, I hit the red button on the remote and the pranks between Jim and Dwight evaporated into thin air. I just sat there, staring at the blank screen and feeling completely awkward. My fingers inched back toward the red button, but I decided to allow myself to sink into the silence a little more. A few minutes later, I no longer felt like I was in some foreign dimension. I actually felt lighter and free. Then, I went to the bedroom, lit and candle, and sought to embrace the silence not only in my house but my mind as well. After shifting my butt around on the bed until I crafted a nice, comfy crater, I closed my eyes. 

            That’s when it hit me: I have to call the insurance company tomorrow. I wonder how my sister’s neurologist appointment went. Did I bring the mail in today? Do I have to pee? Tomorrow’s Wednesday; gotta take out the trash. I can’t believe how my boss treated me today! Maybe I should poison his coffee. What’s that smell? These pants feel tighter on me than they did last week. I think I do have to pee. Do bald men wash their heads with soap or shampoo?

            Who would’ve thought that the moment I quieted my surroundings and went within myself, that’s when the real chaos would begin? I could elaborate on my theory that we surround ourselves with so much noise daily as a means to numb our inner conflicts, but I’ll spare you the boredom.

            The whole point that I’m trying to drive home is that although noise is nearly impossible to avoid on a daily basis, it is very important to find a moment of silence within every day, if even for a couple of minutes. There’s a reason that the EPA is actually concerned with noise pollution. On their website, it actually states that the effects of noise pollution span further than just hearing loss. Unsurprisingly, excessive noise can contribute to stress-related illnesses, compromised productivity, and high blood pressure.

            This helps explain why daily meditation has so many benefits, not just for our spiritual health, but our mental and physical health as well. As you’ll come to find, I’m quite enthusiastic about mediation. Some might call me an advocate, but that seems to give an impression that I’m a sage with several years of practice and enlightenment under my belt. While I’ve dabbled in meditation over the past few years, it wasn’t until this past January that I actually made conscious efforts to make it part of my daily routine. I still struggle with meditating on a daily basis. Sometimes I just can’t seem to find time to still my mind, or when I do, I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. Though, when it comes down to it, these are merely excuses. My parents always told me, “If something’s really important to you, you make time for it.”


            On that note, here’s the artful adventure for today:


            -Find three minutes (or more, if you’re super ambitious) of silence with no distractions. This might prove challenging and seem nearly impossible. Though,  I strongly believe that with a little creativity, you can create a space of solitude for yourself. You might have to wake up a few minutes before everyone in the house or stay up a little later at night. Maybe you’ll take your lunch or break alone, perhaps in your car or a peaceful picnic table near your work. While it can feel incredibly refreshing to find solitude out in nature, that might prove difficult for some people (especially those who aren’t fans of the snow). I’ve discovered that one of the easiest places to find solitude and serenity is in the shower, assuming you shower alone (if you’re one of those kinky people who shower with their partners, then I guess there’s no serenity to be found for you)!

            Wherever and whenever you manage to find the silence, close your eyes, observe your breathing, and attempt to look past the stream of thoughts that might flood your mind. If it helps you still your mind by focusing on something, perhaps recite an empowering affirmation, a meaningful prayer, or a chant. There is an abundance of help out there for those new to meditating that I’d love to share with you. But for now, let’s just keep it simple.


Sending wishes of calm and serenity,